Welcome to week five of our 10-week poetry class for kids! This week, we’re going to have fun with some crafts and activities focused on writing poetry in creative ways.
Here’s some great poetry activities from around the web:
Recycled Words: Cut words and phrases from old magazines and arrange them into poems.
Newspaper Blackouts: An entire blog is dedicated to this form of found poetry, where the author uses a black marker to black out most of the words in order to create a poem. I particularly liked this one.
Poetry Journals: These teacher-created printable journals feature different poems with exercises and craft activities to go with many of them. There are journals created for kindergarten, first, second and fourth grade (look for the links on the right) and you can print out the pages that seem like a good fit for your family.
Five Senses Poems: This simple idea is a great way for kids to get their feet wet with poetry. Kids pick a subject and then write a line about what they see, what they taste and so on. They can then illustrate their poems.
And my favorite poetry exercise:
Remember in week one when we talked about cliche busting? This is one of the most entertaining ways to come up with brand new ways of describing things and combining words.
Cut up lots of strips of paper (or use index cards) and have the kids help you think up words to write on them — one per slip. Think of nouns, verbs and adjectives. Write down common cliche words like heart, love, night and black, but also write down unusual words (for poetry) like butterscotch, tadpole, squirming, lumpy and mud puddle. Also add some phrases, such as looking for, I always wanted, and you remind me of.
Now put all the words in a hat or bowl and take turns drawing out two to four slips of paper at a time. See what kind of crazy or creative combinations you find, and write down your favorites.
If words or phrases don’t fit, feel free to toss them back in and reach again until you get a combination that tickles you.
Kids can write a poem around favorite lines and phrases if they’re up to it.
- Browse the poems and poets here and read some poems out loud. You can search by themes like birds, family, war and food. Talk about which poems you each like and why. Pay attention to sound devices like rhythm, rhyme and alliteration, and also look for examples of fresh use of language.
- Take turns reading some of these poems selected by poets.org for how well they teach various poetic concepts.
- Get to know Maya Anjelou and read “Alone” and “Still I Rise” (links are on the page).
Note: This article is part of a ten-week free poetry course for kids. Click here to see all ten week’s worth of articles with summaries and links for each.
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